Seventh Dalai Lama
MediumPigments, gilding on sized cloth
DimensionsWork : 5 7/8 x 4 1/4 x 5/8 in. (14.92 x 10.8 x 1.59 cm)
Credit LineGift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
The Seventh Dalai Lama, Kalzang Gyatso (1708-1757), was revered during his lifetime and afterward as a highly devout, morally upright cleric, scholar and poet. He restored spiritual legitimacy to the Dalai Lama position after political disputes led to two different people being recognized as the Sixth Dalai Lama. This painting portrays the Seventh Dalai Lama seated on a textile-covered, heavily-jeweled lion throne, wearing the robes and hat of his office. His right hand holds a lotus that supports a golden dharma wheel emblem. His left hand holds a wrapped sutra. A small altar table in front of his throne is set with various religious objects, including a skull-form hand drum, a bell, an alms bowl, a spouted ritual vase containing a spray of peacock feathers, and an offering jar.